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Sen. Hirono Refuses to Say Kavanaugh Has Presumption of Innocence: Women ‘Need to Be Believed’

On CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper asked Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, about due process and the presumption of innocence for Judge Brett Kavanaugh regarding the allegation by Christine Blasey Ford. Hirono refused to say he is presumed innocent or that that presumption should be extended.

First Tapper brought up the Wall Street Journal editorial board’s position that a “core tenet” of American law, presumption of innocence, is not applied in this case by Democrats. “‘This turns American justice and due process upside down’,” Tapper read from the article. “What’s your response?”

Hirono said that if they cared about due process, they would be concerned that there is no FBI investigation being ordered by the President in the case of Kavanaugh. “For the Wall Street Journal to come out and talk to us about, talk to me about due process or all the women out there that I’m hearing about who never came forward, it is really important, not only for these survivors to be heard, but if their stories are credible as Dr. Ford’s story is, they need to be believed.”

Hirono had not answered the question and Tapper repeated. “Doesn’t Kavanaugh have the same presumption of innocence as anyone else in America?”

“I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases,” Hirono said, once again without a yes, then continues with an implied “no”.

“His credibility is already very questionable in my mind and the minds of a lot of my fellow judiciary committee members, the Democrats,” she said. “He has an ideological agenda, that’s very outcome driven, and I can sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplifies his, in my view, inability to be fair in the cases that come before him.”

In a variation on what Sen. Graham said on Fox News Sunday, Hirono clearly indicated that Kavanaugh’s testimony won’t change her vote. “This is a person that going to be sitting on our Supreme Court, making decisions that will impact women’s reproductive choice,” she said. “He very much is against women’s reproductive choice.”

Tapper tried again. “It sounds to me like because you don’t trust him on policy,” said Tapper, “you don’t believe him about this allegation about what happened at this party in 1982, is that fair?”

Hirono said that this is why there should be an FBI investigation.

“You think Kavanaugh is lying though,” Tapper asked one more time.

“Well I believe her, let’s put it that way,” Hirono answered.

Watch the clip above, courtesy of CNN.

[Featured image via screengrab]

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